The food served in Le Bernardin's beautiful dining room is as subtle and refined as any in the world, and because fish and shellfish are often best turned out quickly and simply, the recipes in this book can be reproduced by any home cook.
Maguy Le Coze traces the origins of Le Bernardin's "simplicity" to her late brother, Gilbert, the restaurant's legendary cofounder and first chef: "Gilbert was not a classically trained chef," she says. "He had never been to culinary school. When he cooked, he made things he liked, and things he knew. He focused on the quality and freshness of the fish. He made nages and vinaigrettes because he'd never made a hollandaise or a béarnaise. He focused on flavors that were delicate, subtle, herb-infused."
Today, Chef Eric Ripert carries on that tradition with dishes such as Poached Halibut on Marinated Vegetables, Pan-Roasted Grouper with Wild Mushrooms and Artichokes, and Grilled Salmon with Mushroom Vinaigrette. And, of course, there are the desserts for which Le Bernardin is also so well known--from Chocolate Millefeuille to Honeyed Pear and Almond Cream Tarts.
Essential to the experience of dining at Le Bernardin and to the Le Bernardin Cookbook are the dynamic and charming personalities of Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert, whose lively dialogue and colorful anecdotes shine from these pages as brightly as the recipes themselves.